Newsletter April 2019

Message from the Chair

Dear Primary Ethics supporters,

Welcome to our quarterly update on ethics education in NSW schools.

We’re grateful to our many volunteers who continue to work with us again this year, and a warm welcome to those who have just joined us.

We’ve seen a 50% increase in volunteer applications over December-February when compared to last year, and one of our focuses so far this term has been providing training and support for our new inductees so they can begin delivering the program. Every volunteer who completes their training helps bring ethics education into more classrooms. It’s richly rewarding to see that happen.

Changes to enrolment procedures

Another focus this term has been assisting our volunteer coordinators and school staff navigate the requirements of the new enrolment process. We’ve seen a steep increase in demand from parents to enrol their children in ethics classes – we thank all those involved in the process for their time in getting up to speed. It’s going to be exciting to see the results of our census in May.

2018 Annual Report

Our 2018 Annual Report offers a great reflection on the year that was. Thank you to those who contributed.

South West Sydney Schools Project

Our six-month research project has now wrapped up – and we thank project coordinator Rebecca Iliffe and the volunteers who participated. The outcomes have included a much deeper understanding of the factors that make a school ethics program thrive, and a clearer picture of why there are some schools in which ethics programs struggle to get established. These findings, and the 42 recommendations of the report, will assist us to nurture ethics education in the South West Sydney region but will also have many elements that will be beneficial for supporting volunteers and improving connections to families and communities across the state.

33 translations available for families

With the participation letter now being the key means for families to select ethics classes for their children, matched with a need that was identified in the SWSP, we now have a clear explanation of ethics classes and enrolment form translated into Arabic Assyrian Bengali Bosnian Burmese Chinese Croatian Dari Dinka English Farsi French Greek Hindi Indonesian Italian Japanese Karen Korean Macedonian Maltese Nepali Portuguese Russian Samoan Serbian Spanish Tagalog Tamil Thai Tongan Turkish Urdu Vietnamese

Thank you to those who contributed their expertise to these translations – we absolutely couldn’t have done it without you!

PrimaryEthics@Home March edition 

Our first edition for 2019 gives parents and carers an overview of the topics their children are talking about in ethics classes so they can continue the discussion at home.

2019 Conference announced – Save the Date


This year, our Primary Ethics conference will be generously hosted by Western Sydney University.

DATE: Saturday 26 October

VENUE: Rydalmere campus (Parramatta)

Please mark it in your diary if you are interested in joining other Primary Ethics supporters in the conversation about ethics education in our schools.

Primary Ethics Office move

Primary Ethics is incredibly fortunate to have our office space donated by our supporter Rob Keldoulis, who has now generously offered to upgrade us to a larger office to assist with our meeting, casual staffing and storage needs! As of the end of the month, you can find us at Suite 402 24 – 30 Springfield Ave Potts Point 2011. Same floor, same building, but more space!

Diversity project

Primary Ethics is committed to supporting inclusivity by ensuring our characters and scenarios reflect the diversity of our communities and avoid negative stereotypes. With the assistance of Susan Barnes from Macquarie University, we have completed the first stage of this project, which included a literature review of best practice and established a set of criteria we can use to audit current lesson materials. In the next stage we will be seeking assistance (and possible funds) to conduct the audit.

Primary Ethics Board

Our four new directors Christine Erskine, Justine Felton, Amanda Morgan and Roger Reidy officially joined the Primary Ethics Board in December last year and they’ve quickly become a valuable source of guidance and support for the way forward for ethics education.

On behalf of the Primary Ethics Board, I thank you for your support that has helped Primary Ethics get off to a great start in 2019.

Bruce Hogan

Chair of Primary Ethics


Primary Ethics receives no government funding.
Donations to Primary Ethics
are welcome and are tax deductible. Thank you.